Algeria to prioritise improving 4G over launching 5G

Algeria to prioritise improving 4G over launching 5G

Algeria’s telecoms minister Brahim Boumzar has confirmed that the government’s current focus is on improving 4G services rather than introducing 5G.

In a radio interview earlier this month, Boumzar stated that it the telecoms ministry considered it a higher priority to address the country’s “poor” 4G service, saying: “First, we have to offer good 4G and at the right time we can move on to other generations.”

As reported by Agence Ecofin, Algerian operators first launched 4G services around four years ago in October 2016, and Boumzar argued that they should not be expected to invest in new networks without receiving a financial return, claiming that they “should also manage to amortise their investments.”

Boumzar confirmed that while not yet a priority, 5G definitely features in Algeria’s future plans, saying: “Our current facilities are 5G-ready. When the time is right, we will launch 5G.” He suggested that unless 4G coverage was improved first, introducing 5G to the market could exacerbate the country’s digital divide and hamper the government’s digital transformation initiatives.

As reported by CommsUpdate, Algeria left an interval of just three years between launching 3G and 4G services, and this has led to issues. While all three major operators – Djezzy, Mobilis and Ooredoo – have extended their coverage to all 48 provinces, they all received penalties from the regulator in 2020 for the poor quality of their services.